Jon Huntsman will unveil his foreign policy plan at Southern New Hampshire University today which will focus on a combination of trade expansion, adjustments to defense infrastructure, and “a more judicious approach” toward international conflict. This morning’s speech will also highlight tax and regulatory reform proposals from Huntsman’s jobs plan in an effort to “rebuild America’s core.”
“We will establish a foreign policy doctrine that reflects our modern world,” Huntsman is expected to say, according to prepared remarks released by the campaign. “Simply advocating more ships, more troops, and more weapons is not a viable path forward. We need more agility, more intelligence, and more economic engagement with the world.”
Huntsman will propose the passing of trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which he says “could boost American exports by more than $10 billion and create tens of thousands of American jobs.”
Additionally, he will push to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he says “will open markets in Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.” Huntsman will also call for trade agreements with Japan and Taiwan to take advantage of “the unstoppable tide of economic advancement.”
The former governor will then shift to the United States’ current foreign entanglements, calling for a drastic reduction of troops in Afghanistan while still leaving “an adequate number of counter-terrorist and intelligence functions and a facile special forces presence.”
“Simply put, we are risking American blood and treasure in parts of the world where our strategy needs to be rethought,” he is expected to say. “Afghanistan was once the center of the terrorist threat to America. That is no longer the case. After 6,000 lives lost and more than $1 trillion spent, it is time to bring our brave troops home. ”
Though Huntsman will propose a diminished presence in Afghanistan, he believes American resources can still be directed towards other key areas in the Middle East, suggesting that we stand “shoulder to shoulder with Israel as they manage a host of new challenges brought on by the Arab Spring.” He will also pinpoint Iran as an area of concern. “I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that,” he will say.
Huntsman will suggest redirecting military expenditures towards counter-terrorism efforts. “We must be prepared to respond to threats – from al Qaeda and other terrorist cells — that emanate from a much more diverse geography, including Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Pakistan and the Asia-Pacific,” he will say.
Huntsman will conclude by highlighting his own foreign policy experience as Ambassador to both China and Singapore. “What was always clear to me was that those seeking reform and change drew strength from our nation’s values-the openness, the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion and press,” Huntsman will say. ” Half a world away they could see this country’s light. Dissidents around the world can see it. All the troops in the world cannot give you that light. You either have it or you don’t. That is America’s value in the world today. When we shine our light abroad magnified by a strong core at home, we are invincible.”